Crafting a Winning Elevator Pitch


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Here\'s a slideshow that shares some of my top tips on putting together a winning job search "elevator pitch" for networking purposes!

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  • -- Have two Starbucks cups-- Have each person answer “what are you looking for?” or “what do you do?” depending on whether they’re looking for a job-- Provide feedback on answers; award “trophy” to best initial pitch
  • -- History of the term “elevator pitch”-- How is a job hunting elevator pitch different than a sales elevator pitch?-- What’s the GOAL of a good pitch?
  • -- Be on guard against the “Seattle brushoff” (I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for you)-- The psychology of asking for help, versus assuming or hoping people will just provide it; use beach radio theft example
  • -- I was going to bring 40 Starbucks cups to help set the mood, but the company has a policy where they won’t sell them in bulk!
  • -- If you do something really complex, too, you’ll have to be able to break it down into layman’s terms; I was working with a bunch of FPGA engineers. Know what those are? I told them to pull out their cell phones and say “I’m the person who tells the phone what to do when you press these buttons…”
  • -- Now keep in mind that the time limit isn’t a hard and fast rule; 60 seconds of interesting stuff goes faster than 30 seconds of boring stuff
  • -- What’s a cocky or confident way to describe yourself as unemployed?
  • -- The listener’s brain is your enemy; it’s a pattern recognition mechanism-- What fascinates me is how many people don’t RECOGNIZE what’s most interesting about themselves; Riched Hagendorf and the Sony playstation, Dan Ducich and REI
  • -- If you call yourself a “seasoned executive” or deliver a polished presentation at a coffee meeting, they’ll think you’re a weirdo-- Just like drum machines, there’s a “humanize” setting to make them realistic
  • -- Possible try delivering it in both a formal and casual situation, for example
  • Crafting a Winning Elevator Pitch

    1. 1. How to Craft<br />a Winning<br />Elevator Pitch<br />
    2. 2. Let’s start with the obvious.What is an Elevator Pitch andwhat is it used for?<br />
    3. 3. I don’t care about you<br />(can you make me?)<br />
    4. 4. I don’t understand what you want<br />(can you educate me?)<br />
    5. 5. I don’t understand what you want<br />I’m notsure whether to help you<br />(can you convince me?]<br />
    6. 6. A great elevator pitch canovercome these issues. But ittakes practice, patience, and hardwork to put one together.<br />
    7. 7. Let’s establish a baseline.Pair up with a partner and take afew minutes to each answer the question“What are you looking for?”<br />
    8. 8. Now let’s discuss five keycharacteristics that you’ll typicallyfind in an effective elevator pitch<br />[and do some quick exercises around them]<br />
    9. 9. I don’t care about you<br />1. Focused<br />Want to make sure<br />you never get any<br />referrals? Keep your<br />pitch vague and<br />try to be all things<br />to all people.<br />In order for your<br />message to “stick”<br />with your listeners,<br />you have to target a<br />clear niche out in<br />the marketplace. The<br />more crowded this<br />niche, the harder<br />you’ll have to work to<br />set yourself apart.<br />
    10. 10. ExerciseTurn to your previous partnerand ask them:“Are you crystal-clear on whatI do for a living and wouldyou recognize a good lead forme if you saw one?”<br />
    11. 11. If your pitch doesn’t feelvery focused, it might not be apitch problem. It might be agoal-setting problem.<br />
    12. 12. I don’t care about you<br />2. Short<br />The goal is to whet<br />the listener’s appetite,<br />not force-feed them<br />your entire life story.<br />Ideally, your pitch<br />should be 30-60<br />seconds long. This<br />isn’t much time, so<br />choose your content<br />wisely and polish it<br />until it fits within this<br />target time frame!<br />
    13. 13. ExerciseRejoin your partner and nowanswer each of these questions inonly a single sentence each:What do you do?Who needs it?Where do you need help?<br />
    14. 14. I don’t care about you<br />3. Confident<br />Be bold. Seem sure<br />of yourself. Act like a<br />winner so that people<br />will want to jump<br />on your bandwagon.<br />If you’re between<br />jobs, it’s imperative<br />you come across as <br />focused, positive,<br />and in control<br />of your own destiny.<br />
    15. 15. Where should we drawthe fine line betweenconfidence and arrogance?<br />
    16. 16. ExercisePair up with your partner and haveeach person recite the script below,filling in the blanks accordingly…<br /> “My goal is to land a new job asa ________ within the next __ months.The way I’m going to achieve thisis by _________________. I’m not worriedabout the economy because ______.”<br />
    17. 17. I don’t care about you<br />4. Interesting<br />The listener’s brain<br />is your enemy. Don’t<br />rock it to sleep using<br />tired clichés such as:<br />Seasoned<br />Results-oriented<br />Dynamic<br />Jack of all trades<br />Wear multiple hats<br />Problem-solver<br />Business savvy<br />See the big picture<br />Team player<br />People person<br />
    18. 18. ExercisePair up with your partneragain and trade answers to the following questions…What business problems do you most enjoy solving?What’s your proudest work accomplishment?What’s the top compliment you’ve ever received?Where do you shine compared to others in your field?What do you love about the career path you’ve chosen?<br />
    19. 19. Oddly enough, I’d nowargue that your name itselfis perhaps fourth on the “things I want people to rememberabout me” list...<br />
    20. 20. The tech managerwho bills himself as the“Drano of software development”<br />The financial planner who<br />specializes in working with the<br />“suddenly single”<br />The commercial banker<br />who simply says<br />“Hi. I’m Jane. I have money.”<br />The “fearless”<br />administrative assistant<br />The financial analyst<br />who “tells stories with numbers”<br />The business development consultant who “turns herself inside out” for her clients<br />The banking executive<br />who gets companies<br />interested in him by saying<br />“bad management is<br />very expensive”<br />The sales manager who says<br />he can “win the war with<br />average talent”<br />
    21. 21. I don’t care about you<br />5. Flexible<br />Great pitches aren’t<br />scripted. Don’t come<br />across as a robot, <br />a telemarketer, or a<br />job hunting zombie.<br />Ultimately, your goal<br />is to create a list of<br />the 5-7 talking points<br />that best sum up<br />your career focus,<br />than weave these<br />points together into<br />whatever context is<br />appropriate to the<br />situation at hand.<br />
    22. 22. Example of Matt’s Elevator Pitch Career coach; founder of Career Horizons Help people navigate career turbulence “What they want to be when they grow up” Advise them on how to Package, Find, and Wipe Two types of clients: private and outplacement Love to talk to anyone you know in either camp The best referrals of all? Emp. attorneys & HR folks<br />
    23. 23. Vanilla Elevator Pitch Template Hi, my name is… I’m looking for a position as a… Key roles I’ve held to date include… I love helping companies… The types of firms that fit me best are…  Where I’d welcome some help is…Now add your own sprinkles -- talk toyour partner after the class and ask them“what stuck” and “what stood out?”<br />
    24. 24. The ultimate test of a good pitch?Wait a week or two – and then ask people you’ve met to mirror it back to you!<br />
    25. 25.<br />[free blog]<br />[free newsletter]<br />[professional career coaching]<br />[resume writing]<br />[corporate outplacement]<br />